Ex-Asheville cop arraigned on charges he beat man over jaywalking
Ex-Asheville cop arraigned on charges he beat man over jaywalking
Body camera footage shows Asheville N.C. officers stop and later beat Johnnie Rush
11 March, 2018, 03:02
The Asheville police chief put Hickman on desk duty immediately following the beating last August, and he resigned from the force after an internal investigation determined that he should be fired.
Hickman shouts "Motherfucker" as he chases, saying "You know what's amusing, you're going to get fucked up hardcore" as he continues to pursue Johnnie.
The person on foot said he couldn't inhale as Hickman stifled him, a few times hit him over the head and bound him. A phone listing for Hickman had a full inbox that wouldn't take messages Friday.
Hickman, 31, was charged with assault by strangulation, assault inflicting serious injury and communicating threats, according to a release from Buncombe County District Attorney's Office.
The pedestrian said he couldn't breathe as Hickman choked him, repeatedly hit him over the head and handcuffed him. After a Taser is picked up, a clicking and humming noise is heard as Rush cries out in pain.
Hickman resigned from the department sometime before january 19, according to a memo obtained by the Citizen Times. The police chief has since ordered a review of all body cam footage captured by Hickman's camera during his other encounters with the public.
Video footage of the arrest was released by the police and published with media outlet the Citizen-Times, and soon the public became outraged.
Who leaked that bodycam video to the Citizen Times newspaper?
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Officers charged Rush with impeding traffic and resisting arrest, but the charges were dropped.
"It doesn't matter to me, man", Rush said. Before they can ticket him, Rush runs off, prompting Hickman to chase and tackle him.
(UPDATE Thursday 4:20 p.m) - Asheville city councilman Vijay Kapoor is throwing his support behind police chief Tammy Hooper, who offered to resign in asked at Wednesday night's meeting of the city's citizen police advisory committee.
"You know what's amusing is you're going to get f**ked up hardcore", Hickman can be heard yelling while pursuing the man.
Hickman's charges stem from an August 24, 2017, incident in which he, along with then officer-in-training Verino Ruggiero, approached Johnnie Jermaine Rush for jaywalking.
The FBI and the state investigators are both looking into the case. Personnel files made public this week showed Hickman turned in his badge and gun the day after the incident, but remained on the force for more than four months until he resigned in January at a meeting where Hooper was preparing to fire him.
An investigation from the FBI, which comes in addition to a criminal investigation by the Asheville police of their own officer, will likely focus on violations of Rush's civil rights.
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